Schumer wants Ulster County bridge inspected
Paul Kirby reports in the Daily Freeman that New York Senator Chuck Schumer wants the Federal Railroad Administration to fully inspect a CSX Corp. bridge on the west side of the Hudson River, between the southern Ulster County hamlets of Highland and Milton. The Blue Point Railroad Bridge was temporarily reinforced last year and is being actively monitored by CSX. Nearby residents have expressed concerns about its safety, as freight trains cross the bridge with petroleum products. “A jury-rigged bridge is hardly a long-term solution to securing the safety of the CSX freight rail at the Blue Point Railroad Bridge,” Schumer said in a statement. “Ulster County and the surrounding communities are on board for an independent safety review from the feds, which should grease the skids in the interest of the health and safety of the entire region and bring peace of mind to Hudson Valley residents on both sides of the Hudson.” Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan also wants action taken. “The Hudson River is a precious commodity that we need to protect at all costs, which is why I support Senator Schumer’s call for an immediate inspection of the Blue Point Rail Bridge,” Ryan said in a statement. “… For generations, thousands of Ulster County residents have relied on the Hudson River for drinking water, and these communities deserve the peace of mind of knowing that this bridge is safe.” Riverkeeper Vice President John Lipscomb asked in a statement provided by Schumer’s office, “Is it still strong enough to support the mile-long freight trains it carries daily? Has the margin of safety been lost? And are the repeated vibrations and shocks of daily train traffic continuing to weaken the bridge and compromise even the temporary repairs?” Read more about this story in the Daily Freeman.